Psalm 119:136 “Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed.”
When was the last time you were moved to tears because of the lack of obedience to God’s Word? Does it break your heart? I must confess that though I am troubled by it, there are few tears. I may cry over the trials of life or other worldly things, but I do not often weep over disobedience to God’s Word. The Psalmist who wrote Psalm 119 wept over it. King Josiah wept over it, “…you humbled yourself before Me and tore your robes and wept in My presence…” (2 Chronicles 34:27). The Prophets wept over it, “…my eyes will weep bitterly overflowing with tears…” (Jeremiah 13:17). John the Baptist in Luke 3:4 (KJV) wept over it, “…the voice of one crying (the Greek word means to cry out in a tumultuous way) in the wilderness…” Jesus wept over it, “As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes’” (Luke 19:41). The Apostle Paul wept over it, “I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears” (Acts 20:31). If Jesus and these people of God’s Word wept over the disobedience, why are we, am I, not doing the same? 1 John 5:3 says that love for God is obeying His commands. So then it follows that disobedience is not loving God and breaks His heart. And if our hearts are not broken by the things that break the heart of God, then can our love for God and His people be complete?
In Ezekiel 9:4, God gives orders for those in the city of Jerusalem that, “grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it,” to be marked and saved from destruction. In Opening Up Ezekiel’s Visions by Peter Jeffery, he states that these people “grieved over sin not because they were not sinners themselves, but because they knew they were sinners! They were aware of the pull of sin in their hearts and temptation was real to them. They knew what it was to fail, and they grieved over their own sin…They took their sin seriously because they knew that the Lord had not forsaken the earth. So they cried to God for mercy and pardon both for themselves and others.” If we lack tears over disobedience to God’s Word what does that say about how seriously we take sin? Has it become so prevalent that we are desensitized or blindfolded to it and are in a spiritual decline? Roger Ellsworth in Opening Up the Psalms says the cure for this is a “thorough, profound work of repentance…one that stops excusing sins, calls them by their right names, and turns from them with a true sorrow.” It’s serious and painful work, but Psalm 126:5 promises, “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” We are also taught in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “Whoever sows sparingly will reap sparingly…” So if our tears for disobedience to God’s Word are few, so too will be our songs of joy. Wouldn’t you rather have “streams of tears” and abound in songs of joy?
What has blindfolded you to the seriousness of sin in and around you?
Will you pray for God to make you more keenly aware of this disobedience and cause you to grieve over it?